What the Oceans Remember

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 15 Sep 2019

Member Reviews

Thank you to Wilfrid Laurier University Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This is a beautifully written, deeply moving and almost scholarly exploration of the questions at the heart of our human existence. In search of answers to questions revolving around identity and belonging, the author dives into her family's history, visits archives in four different countries and gives us insight into her personal reflections on her life. At the same time, she brings up many issues that bear a closer look, such as migration, gender and ethnicity - reading this book provided me with much food for thought.
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Boon has written a superb book. I love reading family history research books. Boon has a fascinating family history, spread all over the globe. She has also loved and visited many different countries, but hails from Canada. The book is about her tracing her diverse family background, which leads to the Netherlands and Suriname. She is descended from both masters and slaves, a dichotomy that endlessly intrigues me. Boon grapples with the challenges of reading ship manifests and the tragedy of slavery. She also provides a thorough bibliography. The only thing I regret about her book is that it ended.
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What the Oceans Remember is Sonja Boon's quest of finding her identity, her home, and the missing sense of belonging through tracing her ancestry. It is a journey spanning 5 continents and about 200 years - beautifully written and deeply moving.
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